A shelter dog named Sally got a second chance on Clear the Shelters day, as shelters nationwide waived or reduced their fees in an effort to find homes for as many pets as possible.
The 2-year-old pit bull mix left D.C.'s Humane Rescue Alliance to go to a new home — but her time there was short-lived. She was returned to the shelter after just 15 minutes because she didn't get along with the dog her owners already had.
Fortunately, Alexandria sisters Deirdre and Kirsten Wright were ready for her.
The Wrights had visited four shelters ahead of Clear the Shelters day before they met Sally and fell in love with her Saturday morning — but then another family adopted her.
And then, just like that, she was back.
For the Wrights, still grieving from the recent loss of their pit bull Angel, it seemed like it was all meant to be.
TODAY is the day! Visit our adoption centers from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. with fee-waived adoptions, in partnership with @nbcwashington. Baelfire, along with more than 200 available animals, are ready to meet their new families! Help us #CleartheShelters! �� �� pic.twitter.com/lgBlsBMhws— Humane Rescue (@HumaneRescue) August 17, 2019
"I think that [Angel] didn't want me to be sad. And she just wanted me to like help another dog," Deirdre Wright said through tears.
The Wrights had lost Angel to cancer after just one year. But they saw similarities between Angel and Sally.
Angel hadn't gotten along with other dogs at first either, Kirsten Wright said in Spanish. But she ended up being loving and friendly.
"At the beginning, dogs can be a bit crazy or anxious, but at the end, when a person gives them love, they return the love," she said. "It's reciprocal."
An animal's typical stay at the shelter is about two weeks, HRA Adoption Supervisor Joel Lopez said. Sally and her sister Jackie — who also was adopted Saturday — had been at the shelter more than three months.
"Their behavior at the shelter is gonna be completely different from their behavior at home," Deirdre Wright said. "So just be patient with the dog, because you're not perfect, either."